Bryce is no longer being developed. Whatever. This is very, very different from “Bryce is no longer being USED.”
Yes, but the problem is that there are enhancements that Bryce needs, and which won’t happen without development. IMO, it needs to be 64-bit, and it needs to use OpenGL to render. If development ends, we’ll never see these or any other enhancements.
The people using Bryce don’t need 64-bit nor OpenGL. Primarily because they’re using OSs that allow Bryce functionality without 64-bit nor OpenGL.
Dude, development has ENDED. It’s been over 3 years since any official word regarding Bryce development has been mentioned. No customer emails, no magazine/blogosphere interviews, website announcements, Kickstarter projects. NOTHING. The best, literally, the BEST, you can hope for is one of three things:
1) Bits of the Bryce featureset will be frankensteined into either DAZ Studio or Carrara, or a spin-off app for the iPad will be launched;
2) DAZ 3D will sell Bryce to a party interested in developing it, or;
3) DAZ 3D will launch a crowdfunding campaign to re-vitalise Bryce.
And, just to address it:
4) DAZ 3D will sell/ giveaway the sourcecode to Bryce to an Opensource project groupNO MONEY FOR DAZ IN IT = WILL NOT HAPPEN.
My best estimate: 2) or 3) requires 4-6 coders full time for at least 3 years to dig through and re-invent what is largely undocumented, foreign code. Add 4 testers, a project lead and a couple of support peeps to glue this all together, not to mention a re-launch marketing campaign that will have to set fire to a pretty cynical and flooded 3D market. The entire UI will have to be re-designed to take into account hi-res screens, the controllers I mentioned in my penultimate post, and we haven’t even BEGUN with porting Axiom, the proprietary code driving the fractal algorithms Bryce uses, to a language that people program in today, using modern coding practices (Jira/GIT/STASH, anyone?).
If you see change out of US$2.4M, consider yourself lucky. If you spend US$2.4M, you’ll want to earn at least 60% on that over the next year, so you can continue to develop Bryce. So plan on getting in US$3.8M in sales. Let’s say you’re selling it for Bryce’s current price: US$20. You have to move 192,000 copies.
Sound doable? 192,000 copies? Sounds like you could do that just in the US alone, right? Nope. The tricky bit is the market. Currently, Maya and 3DS are the industry heavyweights. If you want to have a skillset that’s transferable, you want to have an app that at least nods to how one or both of these apps work. That’s one key. The second key is making this power easy to use. During the upgrade process from Bryce 6 to 7, many experienced Bryce users had input into the feature set 7 eventually came up with. Many of the features were fantastic… on paper. But in practice, even excluding the bugs, many of the new features were just too difficult to understand for new users. They were advanced user features thrust into an app whose core market was beginners.
Bryce has reached its limit. It’s done. It has run its course, like so many other great apps of the day, like Multiplan, PageMaker, Mac OS Classic, Windows 3.11, Netscape Navigator and many, many others Bryce has reached the point where the cost of maintenance has exceeded the cost of income and/or its demand. People can still keep using it, DAZ can still keep selling it, but passionate arguments don’t move units. Large groups of people move units. The undeniable fact is that if there was a large, active base of Bryce users, DAZ would want to keep them by continually maintaining the software. DAZ hasn’t, so we aren’t, however passionate we might feel about Bryce.
Also, eventually, there will be OS incompatibility.
Embrace change. Bryce can still work for you on a legacy partition. 3D software is among the most hotly contested categories of software looking for your dollar (even the so-called ‘free’ apps could really use a donation from time-to-time, folks). Bringing an app up to current data conventions IS NOT AN UPGRADE. That’s just a compatibility revision or bugfix. You don’t ‘upgrade’ to what’s current.
It’s not enough for Bryce just to get to ‘current’. Otherwise it’s forever lagging behind.